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WISH DRAGON – Philip Klein

June 22, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Wish Dragon is a Chinese-made animated film, written and directed by American filmmaker Chris Appelhans. It’s essentially a re-working of the classic Aladdin story, transposed from the Middle East to China, and featuring a dragon rather than a genie. The film follows the adventures of Din, a working-class college student from Shanghai, who dreams of reuniting with his childhood friend Li Na, who now lives a privileged life in a different city with her wealthy family. Din’s luck changes when he comes into possession of a magic teapot, out of which emerges a bright pink ‘wish dragon’ named Long, a powerful creature capable of granting wishes to its master. So begins an adventure, as Din makes wishes intended to help him rekindle his romance with Li Na, while also evading a gang of ‘goons’ sent to steal the teapot from him by a mysterious and shadowy figure. The film features the voices of Jimmy Wong, John Cho, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and Constance Wu, and was a popular success in Chinese cinemas when it opened there back in January. It has now finally hit American markets, premiering on Netflix to general acclaim, with special praise given to the film’s colorful animation style. Read more…

THE LAST FULL MEASURE – Philip Klein

January 31, 2020 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Last Full Measure is a military-themed drama film written and directed by Todd Robinson. It tells the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a sergeant in the US Air Force, who flew rescue missions to save downed soldiers and pilots during the Vietnam War. Pitsenbarger was killed during the Battle of Xa Cam My in April 1966, and the film tells the story of the 34-year struggle to have him awarded the Medal of Honor. The film stars Sebastian Stan as Scott Huffman, the Pentagon official charged with investigating the Medal of Honor request, and has an astonishing supporting cast that includes Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Ladd, Amy Madigan, Bradley Whitford, John Savage, and the late Peter Fonda, in what turned out to be his final screen role. Conceptually the film is very much in the vein of those earnest military dramas like Men of Honor, and especially Courage Under Fire, and those comparisons continue into its music too. Read more…